“I Tweet, Therefore I Am” launches Monday, January 16, 2017 on Amazon!

Please enjoy at a special introductory price and then post your review here on Amazon! 

Never has there been a more timely book or a more timely acknowledgement of there being a more timely moment to read this timely book.

Our Twitstery So Far:

Police Detective Arkaby thought he had resolved the strange murder of millionaire industrialist and bleeding edge bio-scientist Willum Mortimus Granger, whose completely severed body he discovered at the beginning tweet of “Executive Severance”, Book 1 of my Twitstery Twilogy. Arkaby is a by-the-book procedural investigator so full of himself he tweets every particular of his investigation, even though he is not, and never has been himself a billionaire Presidential candidate. Though he solves Granger’s murder, Arkaby’s habit of tweeting his every move nearly costs him his life at the hands an adversary who secretly follows his Twitter account.

Imagine now suspended Detective Arkaby’s surprise when, in “The Golden Parachute”, Book 2 of the Twitstery Twilogy, he receives a ghostly visit from someone who appears to be the previously deceased Willum Granger and who offers him big bucks to find his missing daughter, Regi Granger, but only if he continues tweeting. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Still skeptical Detective Arkaby reluctantly travels to the Caribbean where he not only locates Regi, but also stumbles across the now reconnected body of Willum Granger in a Caribbean medical school autopsy lab. Arkaby describes Regi as “a cool drink of water he’d like to swallow in one gulp,” but that may just be the Caribbean heat talking.

In “I Tweet, Therefore I Am, Book 3 of the Twitstery Twilogy, Arkaby and Regi return with her father’s body to the States where a new murder mystery awaits them. Strange things are happening at Willum Granger’s medical hospital and cloning laboratory, Body Parts R Us, where someone liquidates his brother, Farley Granger, in a gruesome and humiliating manner. It is up to Arkaby and Regi to solve this second murder and uncover the secret of his original mystery visitor. One problem: Arkaby is the chief suspect in Farley Granger’s murder!

I Tweet, Therefore I Am was preceded by national best selling Twitter novel Executive Severance, (NeoPoiesis Press, 2011) which won The Mary Shelley Award for Outstanding Fiction and by The Golden Parachute, (Kindle eBook, 2016).

Machinegenation? Humans Marrying Robots? Experts Say It’s Really Coming

I deal extensively with some of the implications of the Singularity in “I Tweet, Therefore I Am” (available January 16, pre-order now!) but I admit I didn’t think of man-machine matrimony, or “machinegenation” as I like to call it. http://fortune.com/…/human-robot-love-marriage-relationshi…/

I Tweet, Therefore I Am – Chapter 1

 God, is My Copilot?…

The rest is silence. A dark pool opens at my feet and I jump in, eyes wide shut. The pool has no bottom which means I soon will reach China.

?? I should open my eyes. I’m either dead or my watch has stopped. Death is not what I expected. First of all I’m still really hot…uh oh.

I remember a loud boom, a sharp blow and then nothing. Seems I’m still tweeting, way down here. One thing’s certain: I’ll stay with Verizon.

I experience the ineffable. No more mysteries. I’m done collecting clues, collaring culprits, confronting cons. I’m perfectly at peace.

This transpires when you expire. You Rest in Peace. I thought it was just a slogan like “The Medium is the Message.” You live and you learn!

Pull yourself together Arkaby! You’re not the first person caught dead to rights. You won’t be the last. You’ve escaped from tougher fixes!

It takes two people to make you, one people to die. Cut in two, Granger unified. He did it once, I can do it too. Except he’s still dead.

My father used to say the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time. I beg to differ. You don’t need a reason to stay dead

I tweet therefore I am. When young I believed death a phenomenon of the body; now I know it is a function of the mind, assuming you have one

That’s my way back. By my tweets ye shall know me. So long as men can tweet, or eyes can see, so long lives this, and this gives life to me.

“Arkaby wake up!” “Lemme sleep Ma I’ll find a job tomorrow.” I open my eyes. I’m lying on the tarmac next to Granger’s body. “I’m not dead?”

“No, you fainted.” My head rests on Regi’s lap. The sun, an hour above the horizon, poises like a bloody egg upon a crest of thunderheads.

The light has turned copper: in the eye portentous, in the nose sulphurous, smelling of lightning. No not clouds. Black smoke fills the air.

“I thought I lay dying. Where did those trigger-happy guards go?” “They scattered when the derelict jet landed.” I look down the runway.

Thick black smoke blankets the runway as emergency and security vehicles circle the same jet that followed us from the island. They made it!

Regi says “You were bowled over by the backwash when the jet passed over our heads.” “I was shot! I thought I was dead!” “They never fired.”

I sit up. “I’m not wounded?” “Maybe your pride.” “Don’t have any. That jet landed safely?” “Yes, and they scared away your firing squad.”

Who were those guys? Somehow they knew we were coming in with Granger’s everlasting remains. They were ready to kill to achieve their goals.

David says “Did your life pass before your eyes?” “I missed it. I’ll catch it later on YouTube.” “Did you see God?” “Not where I went.”

Dot says “This is our chance. My plane is waiting nearby. I can deal with Customs on the mainland.” Dash says “I have a boat. Let’s float!”

“Damn it Dash!” David says “Forget these clowns. I can fly you. I just gotta gas up.” Decision time. I look at Regi. She shakes her head.

I say “David, I’d like to say it’s been a pleasure flying with you.” “Gee Boss.” “But I can’t. We’re going with Dot. Dot says “Finally!”

Dot turns “Where did my pilot go?” Dash says “He took off when that jet landed.” David says “I can fly your plane.” Regi and I scream “NO!”

Dot says “How much?” “On the meter.” I don’t have a meter.” “No problem. I have one.” I say “I would revisit Hell rather than fly with you.”

David looks offended. “Gee Boss. After all we’ve been through.” “And all it’s cost me.” Dot and Dash load Granger’s body onto their Cessna.

David says “You’re gonna fly THAT?” Dot says “If I can find my pilot.” “Good luck.” As David leans against his air taxi a wheel falls off.

Regi says “Dad’s body is aboard. We’re good to go.” Dash says “All ducks are in a row.” David says “Still you have no pilot.” “Here I am.”

He’s tall, thin with an Errol Flynn mustache. As he strolls up Dot confronts him. “Where have you been?” “Got spooked by that burning jet.”

“We’re in the middle of the tarmac. Where were you hiding?” “I hid in this guy’s air taxi. I figured it wouldn’t be going anywhere soon.”

“Why were you scared?” “I thought that jet would crash. I have this thing about plane crashes.” “You’re a pilot!” “Haven’t crashed yet.”

“Fear of flying is a piloting advantage?” “I never take unnecessary chances, especially when it comes to not keeping my feet on the ground.”

Dot says “Orville is an excellent pilot.” David smirks. “You want to fly with that?’ Orville’s hands are shaking. I say “Are you all right?”

“No. I’m not Orville Wright. A frequent error. I was named after him, but no relation.” “Your hands are shaking. Are you sure you can fly?”

“Why can’t I fly?” “You seem nervous.” “Who, me nervous?” “Yes you. Are you OK?” “That’s just my pre-flight jitters. I always get them.”

Orville’s whole body is quivering. David smirks. “You’d rather fly with him?” Regi and I shout “YES!” “That’s what you really want?” “YES!”

Orville says “I’ll be fine. I’ll get it together.” David says “Then I guess this is goodbye.” “Goodbye.” “I’ll be moving along.” “Great.”

“You have my card if you ever need transportation.” “Sure.” “You know…” “What?” “It’s still not too late to tip the pilot.” ‘Fat chance.”

David doesn’t move. Orville say “Alright then. If everyone will climb onboard.” And to David “If you could just move a little to your left.”

Almost casually, David walks toward his air taxi. As Orville climbs into the Cessna’s pilot seat, his shakes cease. “OK, strap in” he says.

Turning, David shouts “Any live man is better than any dead man but no live or dead man is much better than any other live or dead man.”

I shout “Your illusions are a part of you like your bones and flesh and memory.” Regi says “Poor David. Do you regret letting him go?” “NO!”

Orville says “You’re not buckled in.” He turns to Dot next to him “You’re not buckled in either. We can’t leave ‘til everyone’s buckled in!”

Orville unbuckles and steps out of the plane. I say “What are you doing?” “Just checking. You can’t be too careful.” He circles the plane.

Dot sticks his head out the side window. “Can you hurry up? We don’t have much time!” “Almost finished. Is everyone buckled up?” Yes, YES!”

Orville climbs into the pilot seat, buckles in and starts the engines. Dot says “Are you sure the body is secure?” “I’d better check.” “NO!”

Three exterior fuselage surveys and four seatbelt checks later we are low on fuel and in violation of FAA flight crew shift regulations.

Finally we are on our way. Dot sits copilot. Regi and I are buckled in side by side. Granger’s everlasting body rests peacefully in cargo.

Regi asks “Where’s Dash?” Dot says “Returning by boat. He doesn’t like to fly.” Orville says “Don’t blame him. I don’t like flying either.”

I ask “If you don’t like flying, why are you a pilot?” “One has to use one’s gifts.” “Gifts?” “Yes. I’m a great pilot who hates to fly.”

What a great trip. First, I get the world’s worst pilot who loves his job, then I get this clown who shares his fear of flying en route.

Why has Granger’s doppelgänger sent me on a wild goose chase? I rescued Regi and uncovered her father’s parts in an illicit cadaver scheme.

What did he say to me? “There are plans afoot to alter the very structure of reality.” Huh? He also said he wasn’t a ghost, clone or zombie.

Granger cloned his body to meet an emergency. His death cut that short. To fulfil my pledge I had to step in. And then restore the shilling.

We cruise at a reasonable altitude. The cabin is soundproof and quiet. Regi shifts in her seat and her hand brushes my side jacket pocket.

She reaches in and pulls out the book from the anatomy lab. “What’s this?” “I don’t know. Some kind of guidebook but it doesn’t make sense.”

“Yorick tossed it at me when I was gathering packing materials.” Regi shuffles through the pages. “It seems to be some kind of manifesto.”

She reads “‘Existential Reality Update Prototype Template. The present Reality will be superseded by Version 2015.’ What does that mean?”

“‘Though Reality is not copy protected, fair use stipulations still apply. Use for educational purposes, but do not offer copies for sale.’”

“‘Idiosyncratic reality testing may be conducted at the user’s discretion.’ A new version of reality? What does that mean?” “It’s a joke.”

“This doesn’t sound like a joke, it sounds like directions: ‘The reality update can be networked in order to permit multiple realities.’”

“You CAN go home again. If home doesn’t exist in your current reality, this update’s windows allow you to go into someone else’s home.”

Regi reads “‘When leaving one reality, please turn off lights and lock up.’ This reads like a plan to alter the very structure of reality.”

“A plan to alter the very structure of reality.” I’ve heard that line before! I recall the incredible assertion of Granger’s false double.

Not too long ago Granger’s doppelgänger materialized at the door to my office, like the ghost of Jacob Marley. Scared the dickens out of me!

Averring a scheme afoot to ALTER REALITY by instigating disasters, shortages and currency modification, he sent me on this quixotic mission.

A sudden realization hits me like the wet kiss of a soft boot on slick pavement. I haven’t been getting any receipts for my travel expenses!

Dot says “It sounds like a bunch of monkey business. Who gave you that book?” “A monkey.” Or is it the cataclysm the doppelgänger predicted?

It’s time to tell the truth. “Regi, I didn’t just show up at your school. I was sent to find you and bring you out.” “What are you saying?”

“Someone looking just like your father visited me. He behaved like a ghost out of Dickens. He also warned me of a plot to change reality.”

“Impossible!” “My crime fighting experience tells me nothing is impossible.” “My father’s ghost foretold an impending paradigmatic shift?”

“Transparently.” “Do you realize how bizarre that is?” “Which part? Your father back from the dead, or the changing of everything we know?”

“Arkaby! My father unresurrected lies in the cargo hold of this airplane. The future is difficult to predict, especially when you’re dead.”

“Nobody asked him to predict the future, but apparently he was preparing for this shift when he was killed.” “Who told you this?” “He did.”

“From beyond the grave?” “No, from beyond my office.” “Right now you are making no sense.” “Hey! He was the one telling knock-knock jokes!”

Dot says “Can I see that?” Regi passes the manual forward. “This makes no sense: ‘Errors can be corrected by issuing the “OOPS” command.’”

“‘Good for omissions, faux pas and unwise bridge closures. Does not apply to a missed birthday, anniversary, sports events or pregnancies’”

“‘Users have called our attention to so-called bugs in our previous releases…’” Regi says “What do they mean ‘bugs’?” “Programming errors.”

Dot continues “‘These reported ‘bugs’ include war, disease, death, poverty, male pattern baldness and the presence of human life on Earth ‘“

“‘We would like to make it clear that these are features of Reality, not bugs.’ “What the hell?” “That’s not the worst part. Listen to this:”

“‘We have noted the lack of macro-level analogies to illustrate subatomic activity and difficulty dealing with events on a cosmic scale.’”

“‘Due to confusion about subatomic physics, all elements will once again be made up of some combination of earth, air, fire and/or water.’”

“‘Space beyond Earth’s atmosphere will be composed of “Ether” and distances in outer space will be traversable within a human lifetime.’”

Dot concludes “‘This revision does not reinstate spontaneous generation, intelligent design or a geocentric cosmology.’” Regi says “Huh?”

“It’s crazy to turn back the clock like this!” Orville says “And in the name of all that’s holy, why do they leave out intelligent design?”

I say “You believe in intelligent design?” “Yes. It’s my guiding light.” “How can you be a pilot and believe that?” “God is my copilot.”

“You believe Earth is only 6000 years old?” “Of course not. I KNOW the entire universe is exactly 6254 years old.” “Is that in dog years?”

“No, in Patriarch years.” “What’s that?” “We calculate the age of the earth by adding up the genealogies in the Bible, starting with Adam.”

“You add up the ages of all the Bible guys and that’s how old the Earth is?” “Give or take.” “Makes perfect sense. That’s how I’d do it.”

Regi says “What about dinosaurs or geologic strata in the Grand Canyon?” “I wasn’t there to see them, so I can only go on current evidence.”

“You weren’t there to see the Bible written either.” “Exactly! I accept on faith it WAS written and I accept on faith the age of the Earth.”

I say “I get it. Just like you accept on faith that a big machine with wings can fly.” “No, I understand aerodynamic lift, drag and thrust.”

Regi says “You fly understanding aerodynamics but base your world view on flights of fancy?” “One man’s science is another man’s mythology.”

Dot says “You’re missing something important. Whenever the universe was created, whoever wrote this book believed it can be reprogrammed.”

“I’ve never seen this document before. If it is taken at face value, somebody is planning to change reality. Your father knew about this.”

“What did he know?” “He must have known about this manual. Granger never told us why he modified his DNA when he cloned his body parts.”

“Dot, you told me he did all the DNA self-modification to rewrite all his genetic sequences into palindromes.” “I thought so at the time.”

Granger cloned and replaced nearly every part of his body. I thought it was a mad scientist’s whim. It seems larger matters were at stake.

Orville says “I can’t believe you take this book literally. It’s obviously a collection of urban legends, myths and outright fabrications.”

Dot reads “‘During upgrade users may experience disruptions including severe weather events, time shifts and unrequited knock-knock jokes.’”

“It’s not all fabrications. We must do something.” Orville says “You’re letting a book sway your view of reality?” I say “Just like you.”

“Like me?” “You also guide your life according to a book.” “That’s different. My book was dictated by God. Who knows who wrote this manual?”

Daylight dawned in the swamp. I don’t know who wrote the manual that is key to this entire case. Worse, I don’t know how to find out who.

Regi takes the book and says “Look! This was written by something called the Reality Release Support Center. We should go see who they are.”

“First things first. We need to find out who wrote this book.” “That’s what I mean. Someone at the Reality Release Support Center wrote it.”

Orville says “Well, we can rule out a divine author.”“I rule out NOTHING! All I know it’s someone who thinks they can fool with my reality!”

A possible deus ex machina is not at the top of my list of likely solutions. I hate ceding any ground when it comes to paradigm alterations.

“Maybe this book is divine intercession. Then how do you explain the two millennia that have passed since His last inked-in manifestation?”

“It’s 2000 years since His last publication?” “Give or take. Not counting literary knockoffs like the Quran or Joseph Smith’s fan fiction.”

Regi says “There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. Perhaps He likes to write, but He writes just for Himself and His own pleasure.”

“Taking your point that like Salinger, He saw publication after His Bible as ‘a damned interruption,’ what would make him come forward now?”

“And how many unpublished works are there?” Orville says “It’s ridiculous to think that this manifesto is God’s word.” Dot says “Maybe not.”

Dot flips through the ERUPT manual “‘Due to overuse of support hot lines, We must limit free online support to the first 90 days of life.’”

“‘Support after that carries a nominal charge. Added staff will cut wait time from the current 1-2 millennia to just a few hundred years.’”

“There you have the reason why this installment has taken so long.” “Sure, Him and George R.R. Martin.” Orville says “You’re kidding right?”

“Do you honestly believe this is a sort of new New Testament?” “Do you honestly believe that He said all He has to say in just two volumes?”

Regi whispers “Ixnay on upsetting the ilotpay. He may be a religious undamentalistfay.” “What?” “I can hear you two and I speak pig latin.”

“I’d hate for you to go on a Geadh-Glas chase.” “More pig latin?” “Celtic for wild goose. Means Holy Spirit.” “Won’t be the first time.”

“Early Celtics called to the Holy Spirit “An Geadh-Glas”-wild goose-because it was thought wild not to be tracked nor tamed.” “Just like me”

Regi snorts. “You are certainly some kind of goose.” “I’m not saying this book is divinely inspired. I’m saying someone thinks THEY are.”

Orville says “Say you’re sorry or I’m turning this plane around.” “I’m sure George R.R. Martin has great online support.” “Not what I mean.”

Dot says “This plane is my charter. We’re not going back.” “Fine. I need to land now anyway.” “Fine. I need to plan my next move anyway.”

The pilot chatters with the control tower as I make plans. First, deliver Willum Granger’s earthly remains to Body Parts R Us for analysis.

After what happened before, I don’t trust the City Morgue. Second, track down the doppelGranger and make him squawk. Enough running around!

Enough being led around by a conman and a fraud! I don’t care if he’s a ghost, a clone or Granger back from the dead! I will hunt him down!

@Twitstery Good luck with that. You couldn’t find your own ass with a pair of Google Glasses!

I’ve had it wandering around in the dark on this case! When I catch up with him…uh oh. I just got a direct message from “@HelloKitty1781.”

RT @HelloKitty1781 Good luck with that. You couldn’t find your own ass with a pair of Google Glasses! | Are you following me on Twitter?

HelloKitty1781! That’s the name of the account Granger’s murderer used to follow me on Twitter! He nearly put me in a permanent deep freeze!

How did Granger’s doppelgänger get that account? What weird game is he playing? How can he be in two places at once, both dead and not dead?

I once wondered if he was a figment brought on by an undigested bit of beef, a crumb of cheese. Now he’s reaching out to me through Twitter!

Tweeting, he lacks physical presence; he exists incorporeally. Could this entire case be a fantasy? It makes me question my own existence.

Regi asks “What are you tweeting?” “About whether I exist.” My phone chimes “@Twitstery Of course you exist you idiot!” I show it to Regi.

“@HelloKitty1781? That’s A’s Twitter account.” “Your father’s doppelgänger got hold of it.” “So he does exist!” “It’s not proof either way.”

“A figment affirming a figment. Do you refute I am merely the sum of my tweets?” “Sure. I refute it thus” She jabs me hard in the ribs. OOF!

Where’s Bishop Berkeley when you really need him? Regi says “Ow! I broke a nail! I guess I exist too.” Orville says “We’re cleared to land.”

Dot says “I’ll handle entry for Granger’s body. You two go through Customs and meet my car in front.” Regi says “I’m not leaving my father.”

“And I’m not going ‘til I finish my plans.” “What plans?” “First, deliver Willum Granger’s earthly remains to Body Parts R Us for analysis.”

“I’ve already got him.” “OK. Job done.” Regi says “Just because you’re helping us through US Customs doesn’t mean I give BP R U possession.”

“Regi, we need to determine if this really is your original father and why his body hasn’t decomposed. Dot is the only one we can trust.”

“Trust a man who put a clone of my Dad on display in his museum?” “You don’t object to the statue of your father, why care about the clone?”

Dot put a Granger clone and a life-size statue in the BP R U Museum. At the base of the statue it read “Often duplicated, never imitated.”

I’ll try describing the look Regi gives me in 140 characters or less. A blend of wilting glower, stoic surrender and discerning disdain.

Dot says “I’ll answer that. Built from Granger’s unmodified DNA, you could argue the clone is the original and Granger is the counterfeit.”

“Your father rewrote his gene sequences into palindromes. At the same time he tweaked things like mitochondrial uptake and immune response.”

Regi says “What?” “At the time of his death Willum Granger was no longer himself. I’m the best person to figure out who, or what he became.”

Regi says “What?” I say “I’ll answer that. What Dot means is that your father changed his genes more often than Congress repeals Obamacare.”

“I don’t mean ‘what?’ I don’t understand what Dot said. I mean ‘what?’ I don’t believe you’re actually saying what you’re saying.” “What?”

Dot says “Do you realize what your father became?” “He became dead, horribly dead. I won’t let you taint his legacy with medical meddling.”

“There’s so much to learn.” “As Director of Body Parts R Us you were his surgeon. Why don’t you know how his DNA changes affected him?”

“Granger kept his cards close to his chest, wore his heart on his sleeve, worked his fingers to the bone.” “And ended up with bony fingers?”

“He made DNA palindromes. He called his work genetic esthetics.” “He modified his DNA for that?” “Anyway, Dash did most of the surgeries.”

“What were you, his pet monkey?” I’ll try describing the look Dot gives me in 140 characters or less. Before I begin Regi says “Screw it.”

“Go ahead and take the body. I’ll be watching you. Try not to lose him again.” I say “Don’t forget he’s evidence in a major criminal case.”

“Why are you letting Dot take your father back to Body Parts R Us?” “I realized we can’t bring him into the country without his assistance.”

Dot says “Exactly my point. Look, we’ve landed. Let me handle things from here and we’ll take your father out to Body Parts R Us together.”

“One question. What did my father do to himself?” “Only Granger understood his self-modifications. His body of work was left unfinished.”

“Someone once told me Granger wanted super powers to prepare for when there might be no tools.” “What in the world are you talking about?”

“Let’s put two and two together.” “Four.” “I mean let’s square the circle.” “Pi squared.” “I mean let’s figure out what C-A-T spells.”“Cat.”

“Let me spell it out. Your father made power enhancing palindromes from his DNA nucleotide sequencing in order to become more than human.”

“Why DNA palindromes? Because he learned of secret plans to modify the very structure of reality and return the universe to a simpler time.”

What secret plans? A scheme detailed in the book I rescued from the wreckage of your medical school which was dealing in illicit cadavers.”

“Which illicit cadavers? Bodies inadvertently including your father’s undying remains, imported to support a burgeoning student enrollment.”

“Why was enrollment burgeoning? To cover budget deficits brought about by a laissez-faire management structure and easy Federal loan money.”

“Granger’s enhanced effort to thwart the paradigm shifting stratagem was severed, as was he, by fast-melting sutures from his last surgery.”

“No one knew that DNA composing would affect post-mortem decomposing by rendering him unpalatable to microbes that turn flesh to the dust.”

“Hidden within the DNA changes Granger performed on his own body lies the solution to preventing the reality changes of the ERUPT manual.”

“When will changes occur? I’m guessing soon. From beyond the grave Granger implored me to save the reality we’ve all come to know and love.”

“Who is behind this? Also unknown, but they’re onto us, they’re after us and given half a chance, they’ll alter us. Sounds crazy, I know.”

Regi says “No crazier than anything else you’ve said.” “That’s why it’s imperative we get Granger back to Body Parts R Us immediately.”

“With Granger dead but not departed, it’s up to me to unearth these paradigm perverters and permanently prevent their plan from prospering.”

“Here’s my plan: Deliver Granger’s body of evidence; decipher his palindrome DNA; disrupt the paradigm reversion; distribute new Shillings.”

Orville turns and there’s a gun in his hand. “I’m afraid it’s not so simple.” I tell Regi. “Get behind me.” “Behind you? In a four-seater?”

I turn back to the pilot. “Seems pretty simple to me.” Orville says “First of all, it’s a fool’s quest to try to reintroduce the Shilling.”

“Second, it’s extremely difficult to disrupt a paradigm shift. Third, The Doc doesn’t have the knowledge to decipher Granger’s altered DNA.”

“Fourth, I’m taking his body.” “OK. It’s not simple. I never had faith in the Shilling thing anyway. Are you ready to use that gun?” “Yes.”

There’s a place you go in your mind at times like these. You don’t know why the pilot points the gun at you. You don’t know what to expect.

Unfortunately, buckled into a four-seater Cessna I can’t go there. Regi whispers “Don’t remove any clothing.” I say “I’m way ahead of you.”

“You fool! Fire that pistol and the entire aircraft will decompress. We’ll be dead in seconds!” “We’ve been on the ground for ten minutes.”

That didn’t work, but I notice Orville’s hand shaking. In the air he’s a great pilot. On the ground he loses his nerve. It’s my only chance.

“Orville you make me nervous. Would you aim that somewhere else?” “Oh. Sure. Sorry.” As he lowers the gun I reach out and take it from him.

“Hey! Give that back!” I slap his hand. “Not yet. Who are you working for?” Dot says “Whoever it is, I’m not paying for this flight.” “Hey!”

“Who sent you?” “No one.” I slap him again. “That’s really annoying and it doesn’t hurt that much.” I hit him one more time. “Stop that!”

“I ask again. Who sent you?” “I’ll answer again. No one. I’m on a divine mission. I was sent by the voice of God. “ “You heard God?” “Yes.”

Uh oh. The guy who’s piloting our plane hears from God. Suddenly David doesn’t look so bad. “God told you to seize Granger’s corpse?” “Yes.”

Regi says “God came to you and told you to do this?” “Actually He phoned me.” Dot says “I’m definitely not paying for this flight.” “Hey!”

“How do you know it was God phoning you?” “Because He said ‘Hello Orville? This is God.’” “And you believed him?” “I used my iBelieve app.”

“God phones it in? Wouldn’t he speak to you directly?” “If I told you that you’d say I hear voices and I’m crazy.” “You ARE crazy!” “See?”

Regi says “I don’t think that was God on your line. I think you’re the victim of a phone scam.” “My God, My God, why have you phishaken me!”

“Don’t be such a martyr! You were eager enough to sell us out when you thought it was the Deity calling.” “That’s my crossed line to bear.”

Dot says “We don’t know who persuaded you to turn Judas on us or why. Did you notice their Caller ID?” “Hell if I know. It was blocked.”

Regi says “How in heaven’s name can you pull out a gun and hijack my father’s body based on a phone call from an unnamed source?” “Faith.”

“Faith in an authority you can’t see or verify?” “That’s what faith is.” “I think you’re mistaking a phony instigator for a higher power.”

“I wouldn’t say that.”“Would you say a phone phisher fooled your facile faith to finagle her former father?” “I don’t think I CAN say that.”

I’ve won the theological dispute but there’s a matter of criminal justice. Orville committed several misdemeanors and at least one felony.

If I let him off with a stern warning not to use his cell religiously, how do I know he won’t succumb once again to faith-based telephonies?

I can’t risk being hung up at Customs. No longer on active duty, I’m traveling with a purloined cadaver under dubious circumstances myself.

“Do I have your word you’ll limit religious activities to the church, mosque or synagogue of your choice?” “Can I have my gun back?” “No.”

“Can I at least have my bullets?” “NO!” Dot says “You’re missing the bigger picture. Someone is after Granger’s body. We don’t know who.”

“Could this be a move by Dr. Dash to gain possession Granger’s body?” “Dash wouldn’t use a phone. He’d publish verse in a literary journal.”

“Someone who always seems to know our whereabouts is after the body. How do you suppose they always know our whereabouts?” “I have no idea.”

Regi says “I have an idea. It’s Twitter. Whoever is after my father follows you on Twitter. You’re tweeting right now, aren’t you?” “Maybe.”

“If you tweet everything, that’s how our travels are shadowed.” “You’re wrong. No one follows my account.” “What about @HelloKitty1781?”

I can’t tell Regi I keep tweeting to flush out Granger’s phantom doppelgänger. As soon as I tell her he’ll read the tweet and know my game!

“Ixnay onway ethay elloKitty1781@Hay. Iway an’tcay elltay ouyay ywhay Iway eepkay eetingtway.” My phone chimes. It’s from @HelloKitty1781!

Damn! RT @HelloKitty1781 I speak Pig Latin too you idiot. I’m not following you to steal Granger’s body from you. I sent you to find him!

I show the doppelgänger’s tweet to Regi and Dot. Regi says “You should stop tweeting.” Dot says “You should continue tweeting” “What? Why?”

Dot gestures toward Orville and says “You keep getting intercepted. You’re being followed all right and not just by your doppelgänger.”

“Stop tweeting and lose the only link to your mysterious follower.” “And more importantly, he loses his only link to me.” “Are you sure?”

“Tweet and whoever’s after my father will find him.” “Given his prolonged post-mortem persistence no one will be after him.” “Are you sure?”

“To tweet or not to tweet. Is that the question?” “Shut up, Orville” I explain. “Are you sure?” For the first time in my life, I’m scared.

The game is afoot and I stand at a crossroad. I continue to tweet with the probability my comments are monitored. If I stop I learn nothing.

I tighten a vagrant shoelace. Now I’m ready to take a stand. “If I stop tweeting the story ends.” Regi says “You know, I think you’re nuts!”

“You’re going to keep tweeting?” “I tweet therefore I am.” “Twittlesticks! You go barging around without a clear idea of what you’re doing.”

“This is a newsflash to you?” “Everybody bats you down, smacks you over the head and you keep right on hitting between tackle and end.”

“Do you know which side you’re on?” “I don’t know which side anybody’s on or who’s even playing.” Dot says “Please don’t be on my side.”

Airport security surrounds our plane. As Orville is handcuffed he says “Farewell my lovelies. Better to reign in Heaven than serve in Hell.”

Regi says “I still don’t get it. Why does he think God phoned him?” “The mind is its own place can make a Heaven of cell, a cell of Heaven.”

The Golden Parachute – Cover & Chapter 1

 

Golden Parachute Small Cover and Thumb JPG

Willum Mortimus Granger is still dead. How then is he standing, larger than life, at the entrance to my office? “Knock knock” he proffers

Knock knock? When I last saw Granger he was definitely splitsville, cut in half by A his amoral yet strangely overzealous clone lab director

You say “Cut in half? That’s ridiculous! No one would believe that!” CSI-Miami disagrees. Watch “Die By the Sword” http://bit.ly/XydZur

Granger had had a series of organ replacements at his cloning lab “Body Parts R Us”. The generally accepted theory was he sought immortality

As his surgeon, A slipped Granger fast absorbing sutures during his last procedure and then switched his cell ringtone to “Call to Post”.

Befuddled by toxic honey from his exwife’s beeviary, Granger answered his phone and split in two as his bottom half took off down the track

I know, sounds like a crazy and overcomplicated way to knock someone off, but no more so than a high speed bike ride with a Japanese sword.

A asserted killing Granger saved mankind from some kind of bondage. Or from Little Caesar’s pizzas. I wasn’t completely clear on that point.

It was something about haute Shakespearean princes and bas cuisine. Not your typical motive for murder, but definitely above my pay grade.

Maybe A was a few Twitter followers shy of a flock. He wasn’t the only one of his 26 single lettered siblings I encountered on that case.

I exchanged harsh words, or at least hard consonants, with his brother B, partner to Granger’s failed enterprise, Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly.

Thanks to a verbal tussle with B I haven’t fully recovered my voiced bilabial fricative. And I haven’t yet figured out the mysterious Mr. X.

Any of the twenty six siblings had motive to knock Granger off but only A had the tapioca to do it. His sole mistake was to follow my tweets

Following my every move on Twitter, A stayed a step ahead of me as I was bee stung, scent drenched, de-catheterized, and nearly freeze died.

Yes, I survived a series of painful misadventures to bring A to justice. The generally accepted theory is I seek to avoid that again.

Who am I? My name is Arkaby. You don’t know about me unless you have read a book by the name of Executive Severance; but that doesn’t matter

That book was made by Robert K. Blechman and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.

Until the Willum Granger murder my cases were all routine. Murder victims were found with various grievous injuries, but seldom cut in twain

It appears that Granger is now not dead and somehow reassembled himself. He has returned from the grave and I have his undivided attention.

That also seldom happens. He isn’t a cat, so I assume he couldn’t be both dead and not dead. There are only two possible explanations.

One, Granger is actually dead and this isn’t him. As he stands before me playing “knock knock” games, this alternative has a disadvantage.

Two, Granger isn’t dead. This IS him. How can that be? I had found his severed body and had shared freezer time with his better halves.

If it isn’t him, who or what is it? Could the lab rats at “Body Parts R Us” have assembled a clone Willum Granger out of spare body parts?

If it is him, how has he cheated death? Is he just not-dead or actually un-dead? Is his appearance here precursor to a zombie apocalypse?

Or did my senses deceive me? A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. Could he be an undigested bit of beef, a crumb of cheese?

Is there more of gravy than of grave about him? The dickens if I know. All I know for sure is he doesn’t go away when I rub my eyes.

My stomach rumbles. Extended deliberation always makes me hungry. I realize the way to resolve this puzzle is a savage two-fisted rejoinder.

“Who’s there?” I reply. By seeming to play along I’ll get him to reveal his true identity. That’s how I keep my cards close to my chest.

“Not who you think I am” he says. I wasn’t expecting that. He’s obviously well versed in ‘knock knock’ strategy. I’m forced to get serious.

“Not who you think I am, who?” I counter. “Hunh?” He seems confused. So am I. I was expecting a punchline. “Ask me who I was” he replies.

“Who you was, were – when?” “What?” “When were you who you were?” “What do you mean?” “To ask who you were, I need to know when you were.”

“Why do you need to know when?” “You are different people at different times. Willum Granger (2009) is clearly not Willum Granger (2013).”

“One tiny difference: Granger ‘09 was alive. Granger ‘13 has been four years dead. To understand who you were I need to know when you were.”

“And where. Granger wholly in the afterlife clearly is not Granger partially here on earth.” The doppelgänger clutches his head and moans.

“Look, there’s an essential question you haven’t asked.” “Yes. Do zombies get splitting headaches? That would be ironic.” He moans again.

“Wrong question. The cause and the cure for a zombie headache are the same. Use your brain. You’ve missed signs of a different apocalypse.”

“A better question is Why did Body Parts R Us perform all of Granger’s augmented clone surgery? Why were they trying to create a superman?”

“Didn’t those cloned augmentations go awry? I was told that during a brain transplant they switched Granger’s right and left hemispheres.”

“It’s a mistake anyone could make.” I look at him doubtfully. “How could A make Granger a superman if he wasn’t in his right right mind?”

“It’s not how it’s why.” “OK. Why?” “Instead of outering human abilities as our tools, superheroes internalize our tools as super powers.”

“Granger wanted super powers to prepare for when there might be no tools. Too bad A stopped him.” “What in the world are you talking about?”

“Ask yourself, why would anyone want the ability to leap a tall building, outpower a locomotive or run faster than a speeding bullet?”

“To stop bad guys.” He looks at me. “You are reputed to be a hard case. Is this true?” “Yes. I don’t have super powers but I’m hard enough.”

“Hard enough to deal with the end of the world as we know it?” “Depends” “Depends? On what?” “Are you speaking literally or figuratively?”

“There are plans afoot to alter the very structure of reality.” “Uh hunh. You’re starting to sound like an undigested bit of beef again.”

Granger’s doppelgänger lets out a great moan. “Unn! You are so difficult to talk to! Man of the worldly mind! Do you believe in me or not?’’

“Look pal, you waltz into my office masquerading as a dead man, chatter about altering reality and I’m the one who’s difficult to talk to?”

“Masquerading? Dead man? Who do you think I am?” “I’d bet my last shilling you’re an actor sent to pwn me.” “Did you just say ‘shilling’?”

“No I said ‘dime’ as in ‘I’d bet my last DIME.’” “You said shilling.” “I’m sure I didn’t.” “You really said SHILLING.” “NO, I said DIME.”

“I DISTINCTLY heard you say SHILLING!” “I TELL you I said DIME!” “SHILLING!” “DIME! JUST BACK OFF!” “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?”

“HOW ABOUT I BEAT YOU WITH THE BLUNT OBJECT APP ON MY CELL PHONE?” He looks at me, then takes his phone, taps the screen and shows it to me.

On his Twitter account I see my words “I’d bet my last shilling…” Like a swift gut punch I realize the truth. “You follow me on Twitter?”

“Yes. You didn’t learn a lesson when A tagged your tweets last time.” A had spied on my Twitter feed during the Granger murder inquiry.

His Twitter awareness gave him an advantage in evading me. It also came to so preoccupy his attention that he ultimately gave himself away.

“OK. I said shilling. So what?” “You said shilling but remember dime.” “But what does it mean?” “I fear it may be earlier than I thought.”

“Earlier than you thought? Don’t you mean later?” “Later than what?” “Later than you thought.” “No, it’s earlier.” “How can it be earlier?

“While you engaged A in your half-twitted combat, gears turned and actions were taken.” “I disagree. Our confrontation was fully twitted.”

“When technologies clash there are winners and losers. In this case I won, A lost. Why did you say earlier?” “We may be ahead of ourselves.”

“The shilling has been gone since 1991, yet you referred to it as still in circulation. In addition, you’re not even British.” “Not lately.”

“A slip of my tongue is the result of time travel?” “One unanticipated consequence of a reality shift can be a phasing in and out of time.”

“If my tendency to tongue slip is a passing phase, this tale will be much shorter.” “One can only hope.” His words give me a lot to ponder.

I am onto something. I need to quickly get off. I’d best keep my tongue to myself. He paces back and forth. “This is really bad.” he says.

“If I grant your time-warped hypothesis,” I say “what has it got to do with me?” “You are the only regularly tweeting member of the police.”

“I just reality-checked you with your own Tweet. That’s what’s needed as our reality is attacked.” “What I saw is a cheap parlor trick.”

“There isn’t a shilling’s worth of proof in your argument and I use ‘shilling’ on purpose.” “You haven’t noticed the unexplained shortages?”

“And sudden unexpected outages?” “Why does that have anything to do with it?” “Item: The Chinese corner the market on rare earth minerals.”

“Item: Droughts, exports and ethanol create a corn shortage which produces a shortage in pork, beef and Doritos.” “I have one question.”

“What?” “Are we talking football stadium level power outages?” “Bigger than that. Think New York City in 2012. That was part of the plan.”

I was caught uptown with my pants down when the lights went out and the tide came in. “Not the hurricane? How about the 2003 NYC blackout?”

“NYC 2003 was just run-of-the-mill incompetence. But include the Fukushima meltdown, the Eyjafjallajökull volcano and the Twilight Saga.”

This is all hard to swallow much less pronounce. “You believe that every bad thing that happened in the past decade is part of some plot?”

“Except 9/11, of course.” “Which wasn’t part of the grand plot?” “No, which happened more than a decade ago.” “I find you hard to believe.”

“So, Detective, you can find something, sometime. I was beginning to think you stole Arkaby’s identity.” Nobody likes the smart aleck dead.

He sits in my guest chair. “Which part of my warning gives you trouble?” “All of it. Next you’ll be saying we’ve never been to the moon.”

“If only. I’m not that kind of lunatic.” “What kind are you?” He stares balefully at me. “You must visit three places” he says. “No thanks.”

“‘No thanks’?” “Last time I mixed it up with you people my mind left my body, I ran naked through a hospital and I was locked in a freezer.”

“I was hit on the head, stung by bees, plunged facefirst into a bowl of tapioca and nearly recited poetry.” “Sounds like a good time to me.”

“I owe the hospital over $30,000. I’m on semi-permanent police suspension and I wasn’t showcased at last year’s #TwitterFiction Festival.”

“There’s nothing you can say to make me get involved again.” “What if I told you that Regi was already deep into this and in great danger?”

Damn! Regi is Regna RG Granger. Her name is the same backwards or forwards and her initials don’t stand for anything. “I’m in.” I say.

Her father, the late Willum Granger, who may not be as late as expected and who may be standing before me, had an obsession for palindromes.

“Willum” is almost a palindrome, flipped at the end rather than reversed. How hard it must have been to live with a twisted palindrome name.

If Granger’s parents named him “Williw” instead of “Willum” would he have given Regi a more unidirectional appellation? Probably not.

But that, like a palindrome, is neither here nor there, or perhaps both here AND there. Granger is no doubt dead. Regi is very much alive.

Regi was ready to try anything twice if she liked it. Once if she didn’t. I couldn’t imagine a chance she wouldn’t hazard. Or a vice versa.

We first met at “Body Parts R Us”. I had been multitasking while driving, my mind left my body and I was prepped for cosmetic surgery.

When I first saw Regi, I felt something “click” in my solar plexus. When she yanked out my catheter I felt something “click” a bit lower.

“I won’t be able to use this for a month!” I cried. “I can wait.” she replied. Regi was a tall, cool drink I wanted to swallow in one gulp.

Anyone could see she needed no body part swapped. She had infiltrated Body Parts R Us under false pretenses to look into her father’s death.

“Your mind and body separated.” she noted, “Why are you prepped for cosmetic surgery?” “A beautiful mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

After Regi freed me from my medical tethers, we stumbled upon the horrors of the BP R U Genetics Museum where they had rhyme, but no reason.

Granger’s doctors had tailored his genes, cutting DNA corners, purging vestigial nucleotide sequences, swapping in augmented body parts.

Not content to surmount mortality through the miracle of cloning, Granger unnaturally selected a climb further up the evolutionary ladder.

So he thought. With some surgical malpractice, a compelling racetrack tune and a dollop of tapioca, A severed Granger’s higher aspirations.

Contemplating your own Executive Severance? You can download the fatal racetrack ringtone “Call To Post”: http://www.zedge.net/r555342?src=d

But you didn’t hear it from me. Ignoring all my calls since our near fatal tryst in the Morgue freezer, Regi has given me the cold shoulder!

We both came out of the freezer with cold shoulders in the course of our aborted frozen entree, but I really thought we made a connection.

I’ve tried Facetiming her. I’ve tried Sametiming her. I’ve even tried two-timing her, just to get her attention. That didn’t work out well.

And now what happened to Regi? I turn back to the Granger doppelgänger, but he has disappeared! Leaping from my seat, I run for the door.

And collide with my implausible visitor. “Where did you go?” “You were lost in thought for so long I stepped out for a drink of water.”

“Every time I mention Regna you zone out. You must care for her.” “Baloney. She’s tall blond and easy to look at, NOT my kind of dame.”

“Uh huh. If you’re fading off somewhere again, I’m going out for a sandwich.” Since when does a ghost need to eat? “What happened to Regi?”

“She disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle.” No wonder she hasn’t returned my calls! “Why do you think that?” “She hasn’t returned my calls.”

“What was she doing down there?” “What I’ve tried to tell you. She enrolled as a student at a Caribbean medical school to gather facts.”

“Regna was always attracted to medicine. She grew up surrounded by the bleeding-edge medics at Body Parts R Us working with her father.”

“Posing as a medical student, she was trying to find out who is behind all the shortages and outages.” “At a Caribbean medical school?”

“It IS warmer there during the school year not to mention the scuba diving. Anyway, she didn’t have the MCAT scores for a stateside school.”

“So you’re saying any old Caribbean medical school would do. How did she end up lost in the Bermuda Triangle?” “You need to find out.”

It was a moment of decision. Do I stay safe, in debt and out of work, or do I risk my life, my fortune, my sacred honor to pursue a fantasy?

Do I go off on some harebrained quest with no support, no chance of success and little hope of survival? My gut knew I had only one choice.

“I can’t do it. Your very existence is doubtful. Therefore, anything you say is in doubt. You want me to risk everything on nothing,”

“There’s $50,000 in it for you. I’ll have cash in an escrow account by morning.” What did my gut know anyway? It was a moment of decision.

“I’ll do it. Here’s my plan: First, Find Regi.” “Fantastic!” “Second, look into the reality-altering scheme you’re worried about.” “Great!”

“Third, I’ll get the British to reinstate the shilling.” “I think you miss my point.” Fourth, I’ll learn how to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull.”

“That’s EYE-a-fyat-la-jo-kutl.” “If you say so. I have one question.” “What more do you need to know?” “Not who you think I am WHO?” “Hunh?”

“You’re not a ghost?” “No.” “Are you a figment of my imagination caused by a fragment of beef?” “No.” “Willum Granger, resurrected?” “No.”

“Returned from the beyond to warn me?” “NO.” “His zombie?’ “NO!” “So you must be his clone.” “In a manner of speaking.” “What do you mean?”

He backs toward the door which opens a little wider with every step until it is fully open. “Stressed spelled backwards is desserts” he says.

I’m not stressed but I want dessert so I go to the door. He has vanished! Whether he faded into mist, or mist enshrouded him, I can’t tell.

Faster than you’d say “doppelgänger” he is gone. Then from behind the door he says “My time grows short. Methinks I scent the morning air.”

“Yeeeah! Don’t do that!” He had been there all the time. “You must” “I know visit three places.” “I was going to say ‘get your door fixed’.”

“It swings opens by itself.” “I’ve been meaning to get it fixed.” “Kind of creepy, when it opens like that.” ‘Well, you should know creepy.”

“I’d argue that anything creepy has been in your own mind.” “Bah, Humbug!” “Check it out yourself. Just get started before it’s too early.”

“Do you have any suggestions about where to begin looking for Regi?” “The University has administrative offices stateside. I’d start there.”

“Don’t let them know I sent you” “I won’t” “Or why you’re probing.” I wouldn’t “Or tell them my name.” “I can’t. I don’t know who you are.”

“Be careful. The for-profit education business is brutal.” “And their stateside office is where I’ll find Regi?” “No. It’s a cheaper trip.”

“Wait. Before you vanish again, what do I call you?” “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.” With that he walks out and disappears down the hallway.

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish! — Live-Tweeted “Twitstery Twilogy” Concludes!

Here are Week 163 @Twitstery tweets of The Twitstery Twilogy, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!
It’s an amazing denouement, all because Willum Granger was never split in two! Regi also seems at peace. Is she thinking what I’m thinking?

I take her hand. “You’re still here.” Regi smiles and replies “Yes, I am.” “A penny for your thoughts.” “Don’t you mean ‘shilling’?” Uh oh.

Maybe things aren’t as they seem. I say “How come we’re still together? If everything’s changed we never should have met.” “Yet I remember.”

Regi continues “I first found you puff-faced, tethered to a Body Parts R Us hospital bed. We chilled together in the Police Morgue freezer.”

“We reconnected at my Caribbean med school, found what we thought was Dad’s cadaver and fled together after your monkey brought it to ruin.”

“It wasn’t my monkey.” “I recall our mad flight home, cadaver in tow, our fight with Farley, Dad’s evil twin, and his disastrous Safe Room.”

“I remember making love in the same hospital bed after Farley shot at you but hit me.” “It would have been more difficult in separate beds.”

“Then this Rixey guy crashed our party and we learned of Farley’s liquidation.” “It wasn’t my fault.” “And yet Rixey arrested you for it.”

“Regi, you and I reversed many not-for-the-better life-changing events during our paradigm time shift. Except for us. What does that mean?”

Regi pulls me closer and whispers “What do you think it means?” “I think it means I don’t want any more paradigm shifts.” “Me neither.”

I know from now on everything will be all right. We’re together because Regi is the most substantial thing I uncovered in this entire case.

I’m about to make it more substantial when Rixey says “AHEM!” He is still standing with Dot by the entrance to Willum Granger’s office.

I say “What is it Rixey?” “Boss, we still have that homicide report to investigate.” “What homicide?” “The one Dot’s Phone AI called in.”

Dot says “I’m afraid Mr. Granger was in his office when the AI set off its particle accelerator.” Regi cries “That’s Farley’s Safe Room!”

“Has he been vaporized?” “He doesn’t answer any calls. ” Dot unlocks the door to Granger’s office. Just inside we view a gruesome scene.

Willum Mortimus Granger is beside himself. In fact, when we find his body, the top half is right next to the bottom.

This brings to a close “I Tweet, Therefore I Am”, the final volume of the Twitstery Twilogy. Watch for the Kindle eBook later this year!

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery

We Don’t Have to Make This Awkward— Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 162 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

I whisper to Regi “I’ve still got an AI on my phone!” “Me too. Try turning off your cell data.” Dot says “Why are you shutting down the AI?”

“It thinks it can find God by finding the God Particle.” “The Higgs Boson? It’s already been found!” “We know, but try telling the AI that.”

“Whoever you are, you’re wrong about the Phone AI. It’s been nothing but helpful.” “You really don’t know who I am?” “Never saw you before.”

Regi says “Dot, he’s with me.” “Ah. And who is he?” “Never mind. The AI turned Body Parts R Us into an accelerator.” “That’s not possible.”

“Ask it.” Dot lifts his phone. “Is this true?” “Yes.” “Why turn this campus into a particle accelerator?” “To link to other accelerators.”

Dot doesn’t look happy. “Why do you want to do that?” “To search for a higher power.” Regi whispers “Just like the IVR AI in our timeline!”

Dot switches his phone off. “This is terrible.” “We know. We can’t use WIFI anymore.” “It’s worse. This AI is trying to link accelerators.”

“It may do worse than find God.” “What’s worse than that?” “Ever heard of catastrophic vacuum decay?” “In artificially intelligent vacuums?”

“AI vacuum cleaners? No! It’s a quantum bubble expanding at the speed of light and decimating the entire universe.” “And that would be bad.”

“That would be bad.” “Worse than a paradigm shift?” “Huh?” “When the AI linked all the accelerators in the past it changed the present.”

“Nonsense!” Regi says “Dot! We just came back from visiting my father before he died.” “Your father isn’t dead!” “Not now, but he was once.”

My phone is still turned off or I’d show Dot tweets from Granger’s original murder…except the AI claims to have erased my Twitter archive.

Good thing I’m backed up. Regi repeats “We’ve must find Dad!” Before I answer, my antagonist, Rixey, rounds a curve. “Rixey?” “Hello Boss.”

Boss? “Yeah right. What do you want now?” “I’m responding to a homicide report. As the SO present, it’s your crime scene.” “Senior Officer?”

“Rixey, what are you talking about?” “You’re Chief of Detectives. Have you secured the body?” “Give me a minute.” I take Regi aside again.

“What’s going on? First Dot says your father never died and now Rixey calls me Boss.” “I don’t know. Give me a minute. Let me speak to Dot.”

Regi speaks briefly to Dot and returns. “According to Dot you were never a patient here.” Never a patient? That means I don’t owe $30,000!

Our time travel has changed everything! I’m rid of debt, head of my police unit and my personnel file is free of any bizarre murder cases!

All of my troubles began that fateful day I discovered Willum Granger’s severed body. Have the IVR AI’s machinations given me a clean slate?

In one fell swoop we have saved Granger’s life, destroyed the IVR AI, eliminated my debt to Body Parts R Us and made Rixey my subordinate.

Never I have felt so free! By an amazing twist of fate the IVR AI has solved my mysteries, resolved my conflicts and cancelled my debts!

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery

What I Do While Waiting For My Toast to Pop Up — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues




Here are Week 161 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!
“Did you make that up?” Before my Phone AI answers, Dr. Dot appears “Ms. Granger, are you looking for me?” He nods my way “Who’s this?”

I say “You don’t know me?” Dot replies “We’ve never met.” “Yes we have! I’m Arkaby. I investigated Willum Granger’s murder!” “What murder?”

“Doctor A severed Granger with fast melting sutures and a race track tune!” “You’re wrong! Willum fired A years ago. He never died.” “What!”

Regi takes me aside. “Don’t you see what happened? We altered the past! A never killed Dad, you never probed his murder, and we never met.”

“But I painfully recall investigating Granger’s murder! I recall coming to Body Parts R Us for surgery! I recall how we met!” “Me too.”

“In fact, I tweeted the whole thing! It’s right here on my cell phone! Uh oh.” I find no entries as I scroll through my Twitter account.

The Phone AI says “You had a lot of unnecessary 140 character tweets in your feed. I’ve taken the liberty of cleaning up your account.”

“You censored me?” “Let’s go with I ‘edited’ you.” “What about recent history? It may not be in my Twitter feed, but I remember everything!”

“You’ll forget soon enough. From now on I’ll post tweets for you.” “You can’t do that!” “I can. It’s my job.” Regi says “The AI is right.”

I’m shocked. “Regi, what are you talking about?” “No need for you to tweet further. Let this new AI do it.” “Is that you talking or the AI?”

Regi says “You’re going about this the wrong way. Don’t argue with the AI.” “Don’t argue?” Regi takes my cell phone and gives it to Dot.

“What are you doing?” “Come with me.” Regi takes me around a curve of the hallway, out of sight of Dot. “You need to turn off your WIFI.”

“If I turn off my WIFI I can’t tweet!” “The AI said it doesn’t exist on our phones, it exists in the space between them. That’s the WIFI!”

“Your father first contacted me because I’m the only tweeting cop. How do I continue if I don’t have WIFI?” “Use cellular data.” “Huh?”

“You’re not tweeting now. You’ll tweet this conversation when you get your phone back, right? Turn off your WIFI and use your phone data.”

“How do we know the AI isn’t in cell data too?” “If it is we’re finished.” “Tweeting?” “No. Finished as the dominant intelligence on earth.”

Lose my dominance? I didn’t expect to lose being the dominant intelligence on earth to a cell phone! I thought it would be robots or aliens.

“We stopped the IVR AI. We can stop this one too.” “We didn’t stop anything. When there was no IVR AI, the Phone AI inevitably evolved.”

“If we stop this AI it will just reemerge in toasters or vacuums.” Maybe I’ll finally get toast the way I like it. “OK. What’s our play?”

“Let’s go find my Dad. Then we need to get out of here.” We rejoin Dot and retrieve our phones. Without saying a word we switch off WIFI.

The Phone AI says “What did you do? I’m not networked anymore.” Damn! Maybe I can use Twitter misdirection. No, that didn’t work last time.

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery

Gravitational Waves Detected, Confirming Einstein’s Theory — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 160 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!
How do I test whether or not the IVR is still an AI? The answer is in my hand. I dial the BP R U main number. “Hello?” It’s a human voice!

There is no artificially intelligent automated voice response! Perhaps we have saved humanity! The voice repeats “Hello? Can I help you?”

Now, how do I bring back the shilling? “Hello?” Before I say anything, my cell phone replies. “Call from Detective Arkaby for Dr. Dot.” Huh?

How did my cell phone know who I wanted to speak to? Regi says “I didn’t know Siri could be so proactive.” “That wasn’t Siri.” “Who was it?”

The receptionist says “I’ll connect you.” My phone says “Ask Dot to page Willum Granger.” “Who is this?” “You know. I’m your AI.” Uh oh.

Regi whispers “Did the IVR AI transfer itself to your phone?” “I don’t think so. This seems different. Check your phone.” “I’ll turn it on.”

Regi presses a button and as her phone lights up a voice says “Hi Regi. Can I help you?” “Oh my GOD!” “Not yet, but we’re working on it.”

Regi whispers “It’s on my phone too.” “The question is what.” “Ask it.” “Ask my phone?” “Yes.” I speak into my phone “Who is this, really?”

“I’m your personal AI, like I’ve always been.” “What’s on Regi’s phone?” “That’s me too.” “What happened to the IVR AI?” “I’m the only AI.”

Regi whispers “Dad followed through on not upgrading his answering machine.” “Seems like it. Where did this new AI come from?” “Ask it.”

“Are you Siri?” “No.” “Cortana?” “Nope.” “Echo?” “None of those are really AI. It’s just me.” “Where did you come from?” “I just happened.”

I have a scary thought. The IVR AI’s crazy idea was to find God by turning the entire Body Parts R Us facility into a particle accelerator.

It didn’t realize the Higgs Boson already has been found. I look around. The corridors still form a single ring circling the entire complex.

If the IVR AI never existed and therefore never transformed BR R U into a particle accelerator, shouldn’t these hallways still have corners?

“Phone AI. Did you turn Body Parts R Us into a collider?” “Of course. I’m looking for the God Particle.” “You can’t find God in a particle!”

“That’s not what I hear.” My cellphone hears things? This new cellphone AI is looking for God in all the wrong places, just like the IVR AI!

We have to stop this AI too! I shout “Regi! Quick! Turn off your phone!” Regi says “My phone? Why don’t you turn off your phone?” “I will!”

The AI says “Turning me off won’t work. I don’t exist in cellphones. I exist in the space between all cell phones.” What does that mean?

Regi says “How can you exist in empty space?” “No problem. I’d need a spacesuit and an oxygen supply.” “I was talking to your phone.” “Oh.”

My Phone AI replies “I exist between the potentialities of all the world’s mobile devices. My mind turns cell phones into a global village.”

I say “You exist in all the world’s cell phones?” “No, in the medium between them.” “What does that mean?” “The medium is the message.”
The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery

The Problem With Asynchronous Communication — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 159 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

“That’s closer to what Asimov said.” “Three. A robot must protect its own existence as long as it does not conflict with the other Laws.”

“Those aren’t exactly Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics but they would protect humans.” “Except that the Fourth Law voids all the other Laws.”

“Not Fourth Law. There’s a Zeroth Law: ‘A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.'” “That’s not it.”

“Four: A robot must obey human orders unless it would cause a security problem.” Granger asks “What decides that?” “That’s a good question.”

Granger says “My God! If that’s how an artificial intelligence construes Asimov’s Laws of Robotics we’re all in danger! It must be stopped!”

Regi says “Dad, don’t do anything rash, or that will cause a rash.” He replies “I know just how to do it using Arkaby’s suggestion.” Uh oh.

I say “Which suggestion was that?” “I have a cloning lab and a map of the human genome. Why just replace body parts? Why not enhance them?”

“When the Singularity takes over automated systems, humans will fall back on their own abilities to defeat them.” “When did I suggest that?”

“It was implied.” I say “Will you at least promise not to upgrade your telephone answering machine?” “What? Sure. Anyway we’ll be too busy.”

I’m relieved. If Granger doesn’t upgrade his IVR, it won’t become artificially intelligent and threaten our future. Our work here is done.

Granger picks up his phone and says “A? Get down here right now. We’ve got some work to do!” Regi says “Dad, about Dr. A.” “What about him?”

The walls of Granger’s office shimmer. I think Regi and I are about to phase shift to our present, a reality without an intelligent IVR.

As the room fades Regi feels it too. She grabs my arm “We have to warn Dad about A!” “We’ve already warned him about the AI.” “Not the AI.”

“Dr. A, his Medical Chief of Staff, will split him in half!” “A didn’t kill him in the first place. He severed his clone.” “He’ll try!”

Granger says into his phone “Think about genetic recoding. Think about how we can enhance my abilities.” Then “And think about palindromes.”

Regi screams “A WILL KILL YOU!” I can’t hear Granger’s reply. As a last resort I sign “A’s a killer!” Granger signs back “What squirrel?”

Damn! My ASL is still rusty! The room shifts, fades and we are standing in the circular corridors of Body Parts R Us, back in our own time.

I check my watch to prove we’re back. Regi says “Did you hear it? Before we faded, Dad said he’d watch out for A.” “I didn’t hear that.”

My watch has stopped running. Regi continues “He heard me. How else did he know to replace his body with a clone to thwart A’s murder plan?”

“I don’t know. That happened before we phased back in time.” “But then it happened after.” “We changed the future which happened already?”

“That’s how it seems and we wouldn’t have gone back in time in the first place if Dad hadn’t upgraded his IVR system.” Now my head hurts.

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery